November 30

Song that Came Out of Routine, “Step By Step” by Eddie Rabbitt

Song that Came Out of Routine, “Step By Step” by Eddie Rabbitt 1In the Rocky Mountain community of Nederland, there is a place that once gave a unique recording facility, the Caribou Ranch. It was owned by former Chicago producer James Guercio who founded the Country Music Television. The ranch provided artists and musicians with a quiet and secluded environment that gave them the chance to focus on their work with a minimal number of distractions. Caribou yielded so many successful albums such as Eddie Rabbitt’s 1981 album “Step by Step”.

Every morning before their noon sessions, Eddie Rabbitt and producer David Malloy would go to Even Stevens’ cabin. There, they would light up a big fire and Stevens would cook breakfast and at the same time, Rabbitt and Malloy planned their day’s work schedule. With thirty songs prepared for the “Step by Step” album, Rabbitt already completed four or five songs in the first two weeks at Caribou. During their time there, they came up with the “Step by Step” title track.

The song was a product of a comic routine. They had done a bit in which a man goes crazy and kills someone every time he hears his ex-wife’s name. The name mentioned several times during the skit. Also, each time the man turns into a murderous lunatic, intoning the words “Slowly I turn, step by step, inch by inch…..” For some reason, Malloy had that old routine on his mind that morning. He culled the phrase “step by step” out of it and told Rabbitt and Stevens that he believed he had just come up with a smashing title. The three men ate their breakfast, then proceeded to write. In about half an hour, the song that would become Eddie Rabbitt’s fourth consecutive No. 1 country hit. The song reached the No. 1 spot on October 17, 1981. In the same week, “Step By Step” peaked at No. 5 on Billboard’s Hot 100 pop chart. The success of the song made Rabbitt the only country star to reach the pop Top Five with three singles in a row in 1980’s.

Did you know that “Step By Step” was also the first country video aired by MTV? Let us know in the comments section below.


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